This is a beautiful, rambling, historic place, storied to a fairly intimidating degree. My scribbler forebears at Yaddo include two of my literary idols, Carson McCullers and James Baldwin, as well as John Cheever, Saul Bellow, Truman Capote, Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, William Carlos Williams, Rick Moody, yadda yadda yaddo. And then there's little ole me, eking out my few pages a day of RED. Apart from the usual muse-wrestling, it's been a pretty uneventful 10 days. We've been snowbound for most of it, with highs in the teens on balmier days and lows well below zero most nights. Except for breakfast and dinner, which we eat together in the mansion, we're all basically hunkered down in our studios. I have a lovely suite, a bedroom and study/sitting room separated by a full bath, in a small house which I share with a poet and a visual artist. The house, which is called Pine Garde, has a fireplace in the living room, which I've taken advantage of on many nights. They take excellent care of us here, though it's not like the old days, when servants would bring breakfast trays to the rooms of late (and presumably hung-over) arisers.
We have a quartet of composers (an unusually high number), with the bulk of us being visual artists and writers. We've been between 14 and 20, though I gather that number grows much larger in the summer months. My old friend Doug Wright, a playwright & screenwriter, is here, which has been great fun we haven't seen each other in a couple of years.
Saratoga Springs is a pretty little town, and when I get stir crazy or start to run out of wine & munchies, I dig my car out from under the snow and drive in. This place is known for horse racing and hot springs; people have historically come here to gamble and "take the waters." Which Doug and I plan to do next week at a local spa.
I'm about halfway through the book now. Since I've been here I've invented a plague, a new villain and a vigilante group that makes the Klan look like a Boy Scout troop. (RED, it seems, is going to be an even more cheerful book than MUDBOUND.) My heroine's currently in Dallas, and it's been fun imagining my old stomping grounds, somewhere around 2040.